Special to UM News
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. (August 9, 2016)—University of Miami alumna Hilarie Bass, co-president of international law firm Greenberg Traurig and vice chair of the UM Board of Trustees, assumed the role of president-elect of the nearly 400,000-member American Bar Association at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco last week. She will serve a one-year term as president-elect before becoming ABA president in August 2017.
Based at Greenberg Traurig’s Miami office, Bass serves as co-president and a member of the executive committee for the multipractice firm that has approximately 1,900 attorneys across 38 offices worldwide. She previously served an eight-year term as national chair of the firm’s 600-member litigation department.
Bass, who earned her law degree at UM in 1981, has been involved with the ABA for more than 30 years, beginning as a young lawyer and working her way up to become chair of the 70,000-member Section of Litigation in 2010-11. As chair, she spearheaded the creation of a Task Force on Implicit Bias in the Justice System. She has held several other notable positions at the ABA, including serving as chair of the Committee on Rules and Calendar (2012-14), member of the Board of Governors (1990-93), House of Delegates (1988-95, 2000-present), and the Florida representative to the Nominating Committee (2010-present).
“I am honored to take on the position of ABA president-elect and look forward to serving my fellow attorneys, while working to eradicate bias, enhance diversity and advance the rule of law,” Bass said. “Giving back to the profession that has given so much to me is something I feel strongly about, which is why I have dedicated myself to supporting the ABA mission for more than 30 years.”
In her practice, Bass has successfully represented high-profile corporate clients in jury and nonjury trials involving hundreds of millions of dollars in controversy. In recognition of that success, Bass was inducted in 2011 to the American College of Trial Lawyers. She has worked and settled more than 100 cases, tried more than 20 cases to conclusion and argued numerous appeals. Among her significant cases, Bass led the effort to eliminate Florida’s 20-year-old ban on gay adoption, which was found unconstitutional in 2010 and led to the state removing questions of sexual orientation from the adoption application.
Outside of her firm, Bass has led many top legal and community organizations and received numerous awards and accolades. Among them, she is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America,” “Who’s Who Legal: Florida,” and “Chambers USA.” In recognition of her work, Bass has been honored with the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Outstanding Practitioner Award (2016), silver medallion from the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews (2011), and C. Clyde Atkins Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU in Florida (2009), among several other awards throughout her career.
A member of the UM Board of Trustees since 2003, Bass is also a passionate and longtime supporter of UM. In addition to gifts to the School of Law, where the brick courtyard long considered the heart of the school is named the Bass Bricks in her honor, she has made generous contributions to support the School of Education and Human Development, the College of Arts and Sciences, and UM Athletics.
Two fellow School of Law alumni also serve in leadership roles with the ABA. Deborah Enix-Ross, a 1981 graduate of Miami Law, chairs the House of Delegates, and Edith Osman, who graduated in 1983, is a state delegate from Florida.